Amazon Trumpets Support for Cannabis Industry: Week in Review
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Amazon Trumpets Support for Cannabis Industry: Week in Review

After running pre-employment cannabis tests for years, the online retail giant Amazon has been on a sudden tear of support for the industry over the past few months.

September 25, 2021

After running pre-employment cannabis tests for years—and going so far as to terminate employees for cannabis use—the online retail giant Amazon has been on a sudden tear of support for the industry over the past few months. Beginning with applause for the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act (CAOA), the company is now getting behind the industry and doing away with its prohibitive policies.

Assistant Editor Andriana Ruscitto reports this week: While the company has begun to remove pre-employment cannabis screenings, it has also decided to “reinstate employment eligibility of both former employees terminated due to receiving a non-negative Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) result during random drug tests, as well as applicants that were deferred for the same reason during standard pre-employment screenings.”

As the industry knows, however, embracing former opponents with open arms is not an automatic response to this sort of about-face. Amazon is a powerful private business with its own interests, some of which may indeed intersect with cannabis in the coming years (particularly following the passage of some federal reform like the CAOA). Until then, a bit of cautious optimism and low-key intrigue is warranted with news like this.

We’ve rounded up some of the key cannabis headlines from the week right here.

  • Canadian cannabis giant Aurora Cannabis is grabbing headlines this month due to a class-action lawsuit and news that the company will shutter its Aurora Polaris facility in Edmonton, Alberta. Senior Digital Editor Melissa Schiller reports on the news. Read more 
  • Amazon has publicized its continued support to refine the nation’s cannabis policy. The organization declared its support for the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act (CAOA), a federal draft bill that would end cannabis prohibition, as it “makes a number of important changes” the company stands by. Read more 
  • In week three of “Operation Hammer Strike,” the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department (SBSD) Marijuana Enforcement Team (MET) and deputies from several other patrol stations arrested 31 suspects last week that were tied to illegal cannabis grows. Read more 
  • Among the 185 cannabis dispensary licenses recently awarded by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR), 75 were reserved for top-scoring applicants in what was intended to be a competitive licensing process. That presents a dilemma. Associate Editor Tony Lange has the story. Read more 

And elsewhere on the web, here are the stories we’ve been reading this week:

  • KOMO News: “Washington requires a criminal background check for applicants who want a license to sell or grow cannabis. Under current rules, anyone with a felony or a few misdemeanor convictions is ineligible. That changes next month.” Read more 
  • Mississippi Today: “Legislative negotiators and leaders have agreed on a draft of medical marijuana legislation, and are anticipated to ask Gov. Tate Reeves … to call the legislature into special session.” Read more 
  • News on 6: “About 300 Oklahoma medical marijuana businesses, all with the same co-owner, suddenly lost their licenses recently, prompting numerous legal battles.” Read more 
  • KOCO: Also in Oklahoma, “multiple law enforcement agencies dismantled a large outdoor marijuana grow operation in Major County.” Read more 
  • Voice of San Diego: The San Diego Country Board of Supervisors will consider “the full scope of a countywide cannabis ordinance that got the greenlight this past January in a 4-1 vote. The details of what that will look like in practice are still being hammered out, but there is an expectation that there will be a social equity provision in the ordinance.” Read more